Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time Cooks all Beings!

The year 2010 is coming to an end. It's true time flies
and flies so fast that soon one forgets past. Mortals like
me fail to recognize the same happened earlier several times
- that is what Krishna told Arjuna in the Kurukshetra - in the
battlefield of Mahabharata.

Still, we don't forget so much to find the repetitive life
patterns enacting in every life. That has led me particularly
to midlife melancholy and self-questioning. In this state of
mind, once I asked my mother whether she felt satisfied of
being to herself. She didn't take my dilemma of life to her
and replied something very casually. What I could get from her
is, 'What else it could be?' Probably, she feels satisfied on
performing her swadharma and with char-dham pilgrimage. But,
in today's world swadharma has become I-maker's dharma that extends
to all the four-stages of life. Swadharma made by I-maker may
not have dharma at all; this is what I feel being vexed with
the happenings in almost every field of contemporary society.
Morning news papers and news media are enough to mirror the
both self and civil society in today's world. All these have
added to my midlife melancholy. The questions: What for I'm?
What did I do? What should I do next? Should I just float
along with the current? Or just enough to have a life in front
of a idiot box or Net-chat - an inconsequential life! True is
'Time is passing fast without waiting for you to decide.'

Is a being inconsequentially discreet? Does past extend to
future through the present (or makes a detour)? Does time bend?
If it can, then how much I can? Towards the end of the year
I find some peculiar questions for me: Do I have a right for this
birth? Either does the creator have? These questions
linked to my first question - Am I discreetly random?

These could be bizarre questions. My midlife melancholy may lead
to a search for truth of life. But as it now, the truth is :
Time cooks me. Time cooks all beings!

Wish you a very enjoyable search in 2011!
Happy X-Mass and Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Selection Mallard

All had their own Gods for comforts except frogs at early days of creation.
After creation, Vishnu made many sectarian Gods and delegated his power under
specific SLA (Service Level Agreement) to take care of types of creations. The
last day of these delegation season, was a leaky day (not really like Wikileaks)
and frogs were enjoying rains with croaking, jumping and swimming across the watery
world and forgot to visit Vishnu for their own God. But, soon realised there was
danger in so much leaks and needed their God for rescue. They rushed to Vishnu, but
by that time Vishnu was retiring along with consorts on his favourite snake-bed floating
in milk-sea; and at the croaks of frogs he got annoyed, showed a log as their God.
Frogs carried the log with pomp and gaiety and soon got fade up its inertness.
And then went to Vishnu for change of Boss. Again for disturbing his luxurious nap,
frogs invited his wrath of choice - a snake God that makes frogs run for
rest of the life.

And that's the problem when most of the institutions don't make their own Gods (Bosses)
and rely on somebody; - so the Public Sectors, Universities, Institutions and many
more in our country.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In the Realm of Swadharma 'Integrity'

PM has let us down on question of integrity: Gurcharan Das
Taken from :

We have a Prime Minister who has been admired for the last few years, but today we have been let down by him on the question of integrity," he said, while speaking at an event organised at IIM-A.

Two years ago, he (PM) knew about the greatest scam in the history of Indian telecom sector and wrote a letter to (then Minister) Mr Raja telling him what was wrong. Today he appears helpless and but that is not what we expect from our leadership, Das said.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Full - Circle

A Canadian yoga teacher traces her Indian roots
Taken from

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) Shobha Rae had two missions when she came to India from Canada - complete a yoga teachers' training course and seek out her relatives for whom she had launched a search four years ago.

For Shobha, freedom of information (equivalent to right to information) administrator for Vancouver city, her first trip to India was a mission of sorts. She wanted to connect with the Indian side of her family with whom she had lost contact.

Shobha's grandfather Bhairon Rae had gone to the Fiji Islands in the 1890s; Shobha was born in Fiji but migrated to Canada in the 1970s. She knew that the Rae family had relatives in India; her father, Rajendra Rae had visited the ancestral village, Baijudhia in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh, over 20 years ago and told his children about his trip.

But India was too distant to think about then, and Shobha and her siblings listened to their father's experiences and forgot about them. In 2004, Shobha began thinking about her connections to India; her interest had been triggered off by reading a book and listening to a lecture by Rajendra Prasad of Fiji who had settled in New Zealand.

Prasad had spoken about his discovery of the indenture system that took his ancestors to Fiji and his own search for his ancestral village in India at the launch of his book on the subject in Toronto, Canada.

Shobha was deeply moved by the story of indenture. She said, 'We were never taught about the Indian community in Fiji. In school we read British history, European history, ancient history, but we were never told about the indenture system and how Indians were brought to Fiji. I resolved to find out more about my own family history.'

She began by contacting her cousins and other relatives to ask them what they knew about the family history. Finally, a cousin in New Zealand, Nirmala, recalled that she had jotted down some information that Rajendra Rae had given after his trip to India.

There was a phone number for Gorakhpur, and Shobha eagerly dialled the number but found that Ram Naresh Rai (the Indian part of the family spelt their name as Rai) had moved away from the house. That seemed to bring an abrupt end to the search.

Shobha then came in touch with a social organisation in Canada which helped her hire a researcher in India to search for the family's village in Uttar Pradesh. The researcher located Baijudhia village and sent her the address for another relative in Gorakhpur, Banwari Rai.

Shobha sent Banwari Rai a letter in Hindi and promptly got a reply with an invitation to visit India. She began making plans to visit India and decided to take leave of absence for a month-long yoga training course. She spent over a month at Rishikesh to attend the yoga programme and then made her way to Gorakhpur.

At Baijudhia village, Shobha met a large number of relatives, but she was most gratified to meet Shivmurthi Rai, her father's first cousin - her grandfather's younger brother's son.

'I was taken by surprise when I met my grandfather's nephew,' Shobha told IANS. 'I had not known about him; he is my dad's first cousin. It was an emotional reunion. I was deeply moved at meeting him because I felt that I had a father figure still alive.' She met a cousin, Nagendra, who had a strong resemblance to her grandfather.

Shobha was gratified to find that all the relatives had instantly taken her into the family fold. As she sat with the women relatives, Shobha was pleased to find that the women of her Indian family were strong-headed and independent-minded.

'I was surprised by one of the young girls of the family. She spoke fluent English and told me that she wanted to join the army and go to the National Defence Academy. There was a lively debate among all the women relatives who had gathered there about her joining the army, but she sounded so confident when she spoke about her ambitions.'

Shobha exchanged e-mail addresses and phone numbers with her cousins in Baijudhia and Gorakhpur and the extended Rai family - from Canada, India, New Zealand and Fiji - has promised to keep in touch.

(Shubha Singh can be contacted at

Some Quotes

Materialism, a Terror of Consciousness, Bhavan's Journal December 15, 2010

1. The paradigm of materialism has not only come to be enshrined at the heart of the physical sciences, but has also exerted its influence on all branches of scientific thinking. Page-28

2. Life is that which is not in conformity with its environment but in defiance of it! Page-32

3. The signature of life is that it does not like being buffeted by material forces; it stands up to them and attempts to harness them. Moedrn humanity reflects the culmination of this process. Pge-33

Politics: The greatest Myths

1. He said GDP, per capita growth rates and national poverty line are the "three dangers facing the people of India".

Friday, December 3, 2010

Calling of a Lesser

In a village of long history there are a variety
of people engaged in many things initially guided
by the village ethics, as the villagers use
to claim often, of having a rich virtuous past
particularly when something real different hunt them.
Probably that's take shelter.

Among a lively group of kids
there are a claimed virtuous student and another hated
one. The later usually gets engaged in all unaccepted acts
including copying in exam hall, for which he takes
punishment. Once, he found the virtuous boy was
engaged in the same copying. He felt bad and told
the boy that was bad. But, the claimed virtuous one with
arrogance reminds the other that he is not having
moral authority to advise.

A thief has lost moral authority. But an ostensibly
noble loosing all sanity of ethics claims to remain
on high moral ground! Calling of a Lesser is always
a No Call?

3rd Dec. 10

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Class Creators

It was a lovely morning on east-coast after night-long downpour.
Cool sea-bridge with freshness of washed flowers was flowing
through my spacious guest house. And I proceeded to dining hall
for breakfast- a formal one. Never, I'm used to it from childhood
- leave aside current days. I always find self in short of time
even after precisely planned morning destined to run for office
gulping a part of breakfast. But that day was special having a
couple of vice-chancellors on breakfast table. For me, if you
say or can say so, that is a luck or coincidence as I usually
keep away from power corridors. I find it suffocating formal,
probably for my upbringing in informal atmosphere in my village,
you can tell it my ..............

The issue I want to put before you is on the table talks happened
in that morning. I should quickly add here a bit on eating habits
many of us follow in India after accepting dining tables and discarding
our old habit of eating with elegant style of squatting. I remember
there were many formal procedures to be obeyed starting from laying
of asanas (small carpets) to spreading of food items on leaves. Now,
we don’t teach kids how to behave on dining table as we have no time
for it but for the idiot box. Now I remember- I developed distaste with
my the first job for its unbearable scenes in company canteen. I can’t
bear the sound of noisy chewing, sucking of all five fingers and throwing
of rice balls into mouths (seeing that, old coal engines come to my mind).
Near our dining tables, we don’t expect witty table talks. That morning,
I had to bear with some of those that I don’t like on dining table.

Excuse me, I have strayed bit of the main theme I plan to tell you.
That's, now the parameters of efficiency of a Vice-Chancellor is being
measured by the amount of money he could spend in his tenure, for building
thousands square feet of floor space and for recruiting hundreds of
teachers, for starting integrated courses/centres (as we have finished
many govt. undergraduate colleges) and finally for the number of shops set
in campus. One was vying against other reeling out their statistics.
There was a vice chancellor of a state university. Found, he was
keeping silent like one of the three famous monkeys but listening
to others in melancholy. The truth is only some central universities
corner so much funds proclaiming themselves as first runners. Ill
funded state universities are on life saving drugs, in shambles.
Many students from Odisha proceed to central univs at Delhi,
Pondicherry and Hyderabad. Seems, we are in the march of creating
a class of society trained at universities of different grades
created artificially by folly of potential of excellence!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Arrogance of Numbers

Numbers are wonderful for mathematicians, also for politicians.
Democracy has added colour (importance) to numbers. To win one
has to be numerically more (could be by proxy or some high tech
means) on EVM. But, people get confused as number somewhere
is despised. That is how numbers (albeit, natural numbers)
play such subtle roles. A country (unfriendly) wishes to
overrun the other just by number (of people/ bombs/ war-heads/
terrorists). Numbers one can create, make or purchase.
It's only simpletons who only counts numbers like a kid writes on
it again and again on a slate to make it fat only without a change
in its numeric value. A disgusted child of those days, later
grows up to tame the numbers. Taming of numbers is a game of
wises played on stock,law making houses, corners and cross roads
of life. Stronger your muscle better you a number tamer.
Our rulers are no less in it. You can tame the world as long you
have arrogance of numbers? The arrogance of numbers made Duryodhana mad,
plunged Dhritarasthtra to pitch dark and made Bhismha lonely
on the bed of arrows.

Arrogance of Numbers does not make the world - world
rests on 'subtle of Dharma' Is Democracy the only answer?

Hrushikesha Mohanty
29th Nov. 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

India and 'I'

It was Cool morning today after Kartik Purnima.
We here in doyens colony where I live, are lucky
to have a sprawling colony with 1km stretched straight road well
suited for sahari health walks. I always prefer very late night walk.
But today, I came out in morning to see a scene which is not very
uncommon in India - peeing by road side. But, it was disgusting
to see a young guy on track suit doing that. From the arrogance
of dress, I guessed he must be manager in a IT company.
My colony hosts many of them. They prefer to be here on rent, for
the colony is very near to IT hub of Hyderabad Gachhibowli.

It struck, is really India changing? If changing for what? Even
an educated and prosperous guy is so uncivilized.

Seems, India is for 'I' i.e IPod, I20 and IMax. And that is the reason why there
are so many problems; we have not still learnt to say

Ofcourse, scam is a different issue, still it has something to do with I.
I don't care!


Thursday, November 18, 2010


Silence brings out beauty of life. One when engaged in self-search,
turns silent for rest of the world. That's why a silent person is
revered. Do you count me stereotype? You are right on your own rights!

I remember, how threatening is silence in childhood schooldays when
I heard, 'pin-drop silence'. For a post-colonial churned out like me,
being inclusive- for many of us, anything told in English, turns so important.
So, also silence! And for that many of us including me are praised
- 'what a nice guy! Look at him how cool sitting without even a
slice of sound.' Actually, I was silent that time and now even like many,
for not being engaged in bigger truth in life, (if exists than market)
but for simple scare. Well, I'm not alone. There are many like me.

In times of 'Mahabharata', it's disturbing to understand why Vishma Pitamaha'
was silent in 'Kurusava' the court Kuru King Duryoadhana at the time when Draupadi
was going through Talibanic treatment in full public -the court itself.
Unfortunately or fortunately or coincidentally there were no such media
as we have today. Well, if you are too much market oriented like we do
with cricket having IPL etc. you can think of a reality show on

I was making this proposal while sipping tea over a lengthy afternoon on
a holiday. This I always prefer adopting new habitat leaving my village
where the time was at my side for chatting, atleast that time; though many
point out that village has already changed. I reluctantly agree as I don't
find so when I visit my village for getting ample of simpletons around me to
chat and chat and chat.

Anyway, the act of chatting in market economy is never social as I'm used to.
Any chat, without return is waste. So, for chatting I bring out topic that
atleast hypothetically promise returns. Coming back, I proposed a reality
show on 'Kuru Sava' emphasizing heavy return on each episodes of reality show.
Good thing, there will not be many dialogue as SILENCE is the reality there.

Somebody, rudely shook me telling - it was old rotten idea. In reality,
there is pervading SILENCE that leads stealthily, particularly this is
for the land of Rishis- India.
Here, you keep SILENT till being bitten wholly by termites and then you
write an EPIC. Don't you see being written off-and-on now?

I looked forward to another - as we only chat and chat.

Hrushikesha Mohanty

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Follow the Greats

17th Nov. 2010

We always tell- Follow the Greats! Is a common one-liner heavily laden with
both moral and social responsibility? Mainly, for commoners as it's believed
they don't or can't distinguish but prefer to follow Greats' footsteps. In
our epics, that to in any culture there are Greats as if purposefully carved
out for these commoners. Commoners also so piously agree with these Greats.
Inafact, from childhood they are so told. If you see, practically this is
a workable thumbs rule. Possibly, for that the rule was being followed.

Always, each culture (now, aproximately synonym to country) seeks to add
new Greats to the list of Greats. Like, we have added M.K.Gandhi etc.
This is done, to make the list compatible to the present time. Reasonably,
well thought action. Isn't it?

As the time passes, seems the definition of Greatness changes. Particularly,
in current time. Let's narrow down the scope to our country. On asking,
kids to spell out name of Greats of today, they get thoroughly confused.
May be in this contemporary world, a word like 'Purushotam' well let me
not be gender biased 'Narotam'has no meaning. We don't think our (political)
leaders great, not acharyas (teachers), not dhanatwaris (doctors), not
litterateurs not not .... I have not talked of commoners as we see them
not entities - just dumb followers. In haste, I should mention that atleast
for vote sake we don't do that being a functional democracy / anarchy.

Coming back to Greats' greatness, we now-a-days resort to a technique
of refinement. We say he/she's good in so and so but not so in this.
He's a good doctor but not good parent. He's a good professional but
not so in politics. This makes me believe a person is like a composition
of many distinctly different elements and to be great in each dimension
is not possible. Then judging a wholesome Greatness is an outdated quest?
You will, atleast I will agree to consider this scheme of evaluation is
too hard like judging the difference between 'erring' and 'wrong-doing'.
I will prefer to leave it to a linguist. Well, it is a dichotomy to look
into slices of a person when for convenience we look for globalisation.
Still, for a meaning of Greatness, I agree to narrow down the scope to
the field of operation. Like, I will say a minister is great if he is
doing his ministerial portfolio in a great way, so for a doctor,
teacher or for anybody in his/her profession. But, can we say a
doctor great if he's inhuman? Can you say minister great if he/she's a
liar even if is a great performer. That's a big question. Isn't it?
That's the confusion.

Here, I remember an episode happened to me. In school my father asked,
'how did you do in today's Math exam?' I replied, 'Did well in Geometry
and algebra.' Father understood what it meant. Similarly, like me, many
in this country understand what and who is Great to be followed.
Not getting anybody? It's perfectly OK if you are following media
everyday. Neither done wrong nor erred. Scratch your head for semantics;
and the best use of semantics is to serve for the self.
Then you are the Great, found a Great - that's the moral of today's
world but not to be followed by commoners for better life and bright

Hrushikesha Mohanty

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


The Poem 'Yak' published in Nabapatra,
Sept-Oct 2010 issue. This magazine is
published by Odisha Cultural Academy,
Rourkela, Sector 5, Rourkela - 2. The
editor of this magazine is Sj.Debendra
Mohanty. The magazine is in its 48th year
of publication and well known for its
social sensitivity. He can be contacted
at 0661 - 2641 053.

The poem Yak has got lead during my visit
to Gangtok where for the first time I saw
Yak in life. Till then, I like many only knew
'Y - for Yak,' what a rhythmic childhood learning!
Seeing the simple and benign creature I got
amazed at their painstaking life - a compromise
with life like many of our people strapped in poverty
leading a resigned life.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

MishiBaKu BinduTie Hoie

The poem "MishiBaKu BinduTie Hoie"
- "To Get Merged Being a Point"

has appeared in 'Sagarika' Odia Magazine
October 2010.

This is the first poem of 'Aparahna' -
the third anthology of poems scheduled
for release in 2011.

Please click on it better image.

Thanks for your reading
regards Hrushikesha

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

KaliRa Subasa

"The Fragrance of Tomorrow" - Odia poem published in Digbalaya, Puja Sankhya 2010.

Monday, October 25, 2010


This story written by Vakul is published in ROCKS, BITS Pilani(Hyderabad Campus.

Click on images for better view.

Friday, October 15, 2010

'Serving the Arts

of my motherland(Odissa) has been the singular mission of my life.' - Guru Gangadhar Pradhan told in an interview that was conducted few weeks before his untimely death on the last Monday in a private hospital in Bhubaneshwar.

Guru Gangadhar Pradhan the last living guardian of Odissi was just 62. He was the president of Odissa Sangeet Natak Academy, founder director of Odissa Dance Academy and Konark Natya Mandap. He is the recipient of Kendra Sangeet Natak Academy Award and Padmashree.

Last year, I had an opportunity to witness the performance of his team at Hyderabad. I was amazed with the simplicity of the person of that stature. Talking to him was a humble experience for me. The spell bound mudras of Odissi and Gotipua dances will remain afresh in my memory. A great loss to Odissi. I Pray God - let his lovely soul be in peace seeing the growth of Odissi!

[ See his interview published in The Hindu, 15th October 2010
his concern for Odissi was amazing. ]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

PanchaTi Ghoda SitalaMaruRe

Published in Kabyaloka July-September 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Madhyahna (Noon)

I'm glad to tell you, my second collection of Odia Poetry book Madhyahna is just out.

Madhyahna (Noon) is a collection of 52 Odia poems 135 pages. It is a philosophical poetic expression on midlife issues. I'm particularly happy to have reviews by very eminent odia poets having Gyanpith Award, Sahitya Samman and Sahitya Academy Award. Their reviews in Odia are also here in blog. later sometime I'll put its English too. Madhyahna is just released in 2010. It's my the second odia poetry book published by Akshyara Publication, Cuttack.

The first one is 'Ananya Jamaja' (The Unique Twin) is published in 2009 by Kadambini Media, Bhuabaneshwar in 2009.

Here is the front cover page of Madhyahna:

About Publisher

CLICK ON IMAGE For Better View


The following eminent poets have put their kind reviews. They are

Sri Ramakanta Rath: an eminent poet honoured with PadmaBhusan, prestigious Sahitya Samman and many more awards for his Odia poems. He was the President of Sahitya Academy of India. In 2009 he is awarded with fellow of Sahitya Academyof India. He joined IAS and retired as Chief Secretary of Odisa.

Sri Sitakanta Mohapatra: He was awarded the Jnanpith Award in 1993 "for outstanding contribution to Indian literature". He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2002, apart from winning the Soviet Land Nehru Award, Kabeer Samman and several other prestigious awards. He joined IAS in 1961.

Sri Girija Kumar Baliarsingh: Young Odia poet recipient of Odisa Sahitya Academy Award in 2006 for his poetry book , Bharata Barsha'.





Mahyahna Page -2

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

PhulaTiE DeBaKu

Published in Dhwani Pratidhwani Aug. 2010

Inviting you to this blog:
Please click on image for better view.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Last Spring

Please click on it for better view.

The Last Spring

Published in Expression, July 2011, from Delhi.

Click on for better view.


Odia Essay Competition 2011

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ehari NaaN KaaNa Prema?

Published in July/August Sagarika - Odia Literary Magazine

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PujyaPuja - A One-Way Affair

25th August 2010

We are known for this - PujyaPuja done from the ages in India, for often we see in Mahabharata an emperor coming halfway leaving the throne to receive or to see-off a Rishi. Some of such few rituals we continue by heart or habit, often being the later true.

Every year before the day; an aspirant looks for the List hot, fresh fried! This is usually followed by the stories of inclusions for the shame of a genuine. For a looser, there is hope - 'dear you lost, never mind to lobby for the next.' OopS, is that the truth?

Britishers used this tool to pamper some desis conferring titles like RayBahadur etc. In colonial days these titles had a glamour. I don't know whether British Raj was feeling proud of it. But, it was sure for the other - a one-way affair!

Very professionally done now. Award a celebrity - media is catchy and dress it up in prints and videos; need more of it? Than make it laden with ridiculous masala. Media goes agog 'ra ... ra'; as if wanted others to hear this, 'sare gama pa!'

Now this tradition is rampant for being too much concerned of PujyaPuja or publicity? An honest question in dead silence certainly would whisper and often question- what for are all these hungamas!

Is it sure? , Not, still a One-Way Affair!

Hrushikesha Mohanty

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Brook

All that I accrued
All I got handful
Have gone with the wind
With the flow of time
When I was running along
Thinking to sing a song
One day ... One day!

Looked for the song while running along
Murmurs of the brook
Hustles of leaves
Whispers of flowers.
But couldn't hear, couldn't hear!

Got all that showered on me
With bag full I walked through
To find it empty
And to find self sticky.

The brook is flowing into haze
Butter-fly flutters in.
Scare me ! Who's there in mist?
Don't you see my loosened fist!

Am I in trance? The brook ends.
The halo I kiss
Sends tremor across
Waking me up
filling up my fists and bags
Giving a song on my lips.
The mist is gone, the mist is gone.
Am I in trance? The brook has flown!

Hrushikesha Mohanty
20th August 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Pl. Click on it to enlarge.

This poem Sangam (The Union) is published
Bishuba Sanlhya of Katha Katha Kabita Kabita.
Comments from Odia readers are eagerly solicited.
With thanks and regards

OdiA BhaSakU SaNkaT

This essay is on danger Odia language facing in contemporary society.
It's published in Sagarika July 2010 issue.
Your (odia readers)opinion is eagerly solicited.


Saturday, July 31, 2010



This is the first story I wrote and published in Ama Odisha e-magazine

Please download 4th edition of this magazine. My story is in pages 76-82.
Looking forward to your comments.


Since morning Bhaga Das looked bit sad as well as confused. His bohu, daughter-in-law Surama has been studying and also worrying about the effect of her father-in-law's mood swing, given his advanced age. Surama's concern about Bhaga Das is not only for her father-in-law but also for her perception of the situation. Her son has been making hell of the house demanding stylish pair of shoes though recently the family had purchased a pair for him. Nobody in the house including her husband found any rationality in purchasing another pair of shoes. Moreover, the cost of the stylish pair of shoes cost was abominable. Surama did not want consumerism getting hold of her son at such young age. Bahaga Das, despite knowing the situation, maintains silence when Rahul tries to get everyone to agree to his whims and fancies. It is as if everyone had made a pact silently. The day she landed in this house, she could make the pact with it for Bhaga Das could own her with affection that are beyond a common house-hold she knew that time. Surama was also a kind of girl with a longing to be loved. She has been like this since her childhood. Wherever she went, she liked others telling nice things of her.. Who does not like that? For Surama, it is only visible. And she is not really secretive of her trait. It's also true that she is nice. Before coming to Maitapur her husband's village, she had been nice daughter, nice student and nice to her childhood friends. Twenty years back, she came to Maitapur along with an affordable marriage procession accompanied by Gopal - the son of Bhaga Das.

Maitapur is a big village in Simulia block of Balasore district in Odisa. The village is now almost a panchayat that includes another tiny village Bangalpur. The villagers of Bangalpur are found always engaged in maintaining their identity being buffered in two big villages Maitapur and Markona; later being a part of another panchayat named Markona. Somehow Bangalpureans are very touchy and emotional of their village. In every aspects pertaining to Maitapur panchayat activity they want to be considered with the highest priority. So also they take pride of bringing something in or doing something new to the panchayat.

Bhaga Das remembers that in Maitapur panchayat, that new thing called ‘Sungadi’ bicycle was bought by Kangali babu of Bangalpur first. Sj. Kangali Charan Mohanty, popularly known as Kangali babu is the fire brand nationalist of Maitapur panchayat. He is no more. But, he is still remembered for his nationalism and later for canny deals for settling peace among villagers. He also had the distinction of leading this area to freedom struggle. But, while leading a procession or addressing a gathering in Maitapur chhak he never forgot to take his village name Bangalpur. Of course, sometimes he was overdoing being excited while delivering his speech unfurling Indian national flag at Maitapur chhak. Besides, he had that privilege being the oldest and respected freedom fighter in this area.

Every year, Bhaga Das used to attend the flag hoisting ceremony at Maitapur chhak. He always took great pride in it. It also reminded him of his sweet old childhood days passed loitering along with a herd of animals including cows, bullocks and goats. Bhaga Das was a cow-herd boy of fun and frolic. One day, out of curiosity he joined a rally led by young Kangali babu. It’s true Bhaga Das didn’t know or understood why that rally was. But to his utter surprise, he landed up in Simulia police station being rounded up by British police and further he was sent to Balasore jail for a year. In the jail he understood what that rally was. Of course, he learnt many more things at Balasore jail from co-nationalists. A simple cow-herd boy turned wise in the process. Since, he has been able to understand social dynamics of his village as well as dramas being enacted in recent past by politicians in Delhi. Somehow, he does not hold much respect for neo-political leaders at Delhi or Bhubaneshwar as he has for Kangali babu. That day, he got attracted to Kangali babu or rather Kangali babu attracted him being adorned with khadi headgear, a khadi chadar wrapping his youthful body and wearing a khadi of short length. That day, he learnt to wear the dhoti differently. Ofcourse, very few people used to wear dhoti at that time. For almost all, a khurdha gamuchha - a brick colour hand woven 4-5 ft. cloth was enough for a man to cover some part down to waist. A well-off man would have another 3-ft long either to tie around head or to hang on his shoulder. Wearing a dhoti was for few that too for rare occasions like marriage. A person was rated based on his style of dhoti wearing. Particularly, Janardan babu – the father of Kangali babu had a distinct style of wearing a dhoti that was unknown to Bhaga Das and people like him. The fringes of his dhoti used to hang at the front while its borders kissed mother earth. Sometimes, Janardan babu used to walk holding the fringes of his dhoti in his left first, swinging his right hand making almost 30 degree inclined to his bodyline and making his head approximately around 5 degree swung back as if he wanted to increase his sight coverage area. But that day, Bhaga Das didn’t find Kanagali babu following his father not even in his style of wearing dhoti. He was not looking as grand as how his father used to be in dhoti. Since then, Kanagali babu had become an icon himself for many in that area.

Bhaga Das and people like him used to join Kanagali babu in celebrating national days, though now for many these days have become mere holidays only. Bhaga Das gets upset with today’s mood and perception. He remembered how rigorously villagers were celebrating those days. They used to put purna kumbha in from of their homes welcoming school kids coming in a procession. Recital of national song, slogans hailing the motherland accompanied by blowing of conch shells used to draw a rainbow of patriotism on everybody’s eyes. Now, Bhaga Das wonders what those eyes were looking at that time and what today has brought to them. But, those days nobody cared for what would they get; they only cared to rejoice the mood of the motherland – probably the ecstasy of breaking from yesterday had caught them in a frenzy. One by one each was following Kangali babu or joining the procession to assemble around a cement block at Maitapur chhak and hoist the national flag.

Bhaga Das used to do even something more in helping Kangali babu in celebrations. But, he was never satisfied with the choice of Maitapur chhak for flag hoisting. Maitapur chhak is at the periphery of Maitapur though it is at the side of national high way that time popularly called as Jagannath sadak. He even raised this issue with Kangali babu to find the later being adherent to the place, particularly putting the flag on a prism like cement block standing on 10x10 sq.ft slightly high raised cement platform. Now, of course the structure is erased out for widening of national high way. Kangali babu used to assume a kind of pride for putting the flag there on the cement prism, probably thinking it a British relic. Nobody knew with certainty who and why this block was built. But, there was a story on it was in circulation, probably purported by Kangali babu. The story tells - during British Raj one of the then Governor had to travel by road from Soro to Bhadrak due to some problem on railroad. And the collector of Balasore wished to grab the occasion to impress the Governor. For God known reasons he had chosen Maitapur chhak to arrange a civilian reception for Governor and had constructed this cement structure as a remembrance of the visit. Of course, the Governor was kind enough to inaugurate the structure. However, the story has a flaw, as there is no explanation why there is no plaque bearing the name of the Governor. Innocent villagers with no idea of inauguration rituals just took the story as it is. Bhaga Das had also little problem on accepting it knowing well the story was manufactured aptly by Kangali babu. But somehow he was in favour of Melana pada for choosing the place for hoisting the national flag.
Melana pada is a small stretch of high raised open fields, an area equal to that of six football fields. To its west there is an earthly mound of ten feet height and flat top of fifty square feet; by the side, a huge tamarind tree covers the mound with such jealousy that casts a mystic look from a distance, particularly half moon-lit nights. And the trunk of the tree with various patterns due to ageing barks and being painted with vermilion marks add to the spell the tree casts on onlookers. For that probably, quite long back , nobody knows when it was, mangala thakurani was put under the tree and the flat area was used for devotees to perform rituals on the top of the mound. Bhaga Das’s house is to the east of the pada and by the side of a mud road that passes in between his house and the pada. Since childhood, every morning as he comes out of his house, his sight falls on the large vermillion patches that scares Bhaga Das of wrong doings. Probably, it works as Bhaga Das carries a noteworthy record among his villagers. In childhood first he used to gather all the cattle from others houses on Pada and then lead them far off to graze and returning to pada in the evening. An assembly of cattle also resulted assembly of cowherd boys and Bhaga Das used to enjoy the assembly under the green tress playing a variety of games with friendly cowherd boys. They had such limited options for whole day and they were so happy despite the limitations. Now, he does not understand why his grandson is unhappy in spite of so many thngs around him. Understanding that has become out of his reach. Bhaga Das has been moving on though he has never understood the influence of thakurani on villagers and rationality. But he has not bothered to explore as it has cast a conflict neither on his ethics nor on his interests. Looks, life, nature and belief system feed each other and enrich themselves. The three are as if in eternal journey, in which Bhaga Das has a role with a defined time period. At the same time, particularly in old days Bahaga Das has started feeling as if his association to Pada and surroundings has transcended the passage of time. Rather, he ideally loves to think that way to satisfy his emotional attachments.

Melana Pada, for Bhaga Das and the panchayat, was a socio-economic centre despite the religious favour that is loudly visible even now. Every year Gods with consorts from surrounding thirty plus villages assemble with all grandeur. A unique idea – assembly of Gods among commoners and a stay for three nights under the open sky, gets enacted at the Pada every year and people fromm all the surrounding villages pour in. Bhaga Das remembers those days were different. Hardly anyone used to go to Bhadrak, the nearby town, fifteen kilometers away, to buy things. Rather, everyone used to wait for melana to do the annual shopping of necessary things. Of course, there were very few things people thought as essentials unlike today. Many merchants from Bhadrak used to arrive with bullock cart loads of articles for doing business for atleast fifteen days. After all, it was their social duty to carry essentials that local people need for the whole year. Karim – a shoe merchant from Bhadrak also used to come every year.

Bhaga Das knew Karim since his jail days at Balasore. In independent India, llike Bhaga Das he didn’t look for green pasture in politics in spite of several lucrative offer he had. Once, he understood the offer was for his religion then he vehemently refused to accept though his action by some was looked as foolish and he had to trade a difficult journey as a petty shoe merchant in Bhadrak katchery bazaar. Still, he does not repent his action even a bit. He wonders and praises himself for the brave decision he took at that time. He finds answer to himself - the chemistry he developed in Balasore jail among nationalist is in action even now. While everybody looks Karim oddly now, Bhaga Das a Brahmin of Maitapur found a closeness to Karim.

Bhaga Das and Karim have been nurturing a friendship since they knew each other in Balasore jail. The nationalism they took to, had taught them love for the soil at the helm and rationality to question man made constraints. Bhaga Das the poor orphan soon after release from the jail found himself helpless and chose to work in Calcutta like many others– the city those days was the destination for livelihood as Bangalore is today. Bhaga Das went to Calcutta for livelihood, played a long innings there for doing petty jobs mainly as a cook and a priest. But, he returned to his village just before Calcutta turned Kolkatta and then failed to attract job seekers. He got so used to Calcutta, having stayed there for some many years that it had become second home though Melanapada always beckoned him. After a long days toil in Calcutta, when he closed his eyes, the tamarind tree of Melanapada appeared in his dream. But, he was continuing to stay in Calcutta for sheer inertia that many people called the charm of Calcutta. Neither Surama nor Gopal could, but Bablu the baby grandson could prevail upon Bhaga Das to return to Maitapur permanently. The charm of playing with Bablu at Melanapada was the main attraction – a nostalgic impulse was at work.

The relationship between Melanapada and Bhaga Das, of course used to get stronger every year during Holi, inspite of his long stay in Calcutta. The association with Karim was getting stronger because of his Calcutta visit in every three months to pick up merchandise from the tannery there. Bhaga Das used to be Karim’s host in Calcutta. At night they used to talk about many things in changing world and try to judge with rationality the truth they imbibed in British jail. How different is the jail now with jail-mates associated to various crimes that time was never heard! However, they used to wonder of the quantum of changes the independence had brought in and were happy of that. But, they were not able to agree with some changes and used to wonder about them.

Karim used to make variety of shoes with the leather he got from Calcutta and used to keep the best pieces for display at annual fair at Melanapada. His annual sojourn to Melanapada was important for two reasons: satisfying needs of local people who used to wait for his shoes and secondly, he used to make a major part of his livelihood from the business here. He used to feel satisfied with the thought that the entire people of the locality were waiting for him compared to the age now when youngsters rush for branded shoes. But the difference was, Karim’s shoes were not only cheap but sturdy for rough and tough uses, especially by villagers. Infact, it is not an exaggeration to say that Karim taught wearing of shoes to the people of this locality as before they used to wear a kind of desi shoes made of palmleaf stem. People used to wear that, only when they annually fence their little land holdings with thorns to protect vegetables from goats and cattle. That was the work for a week or two and soon after they used to throw away those shoes for the rest of the year. Once Karim started his shoe business in Melanapada, many started using them while privileged initially frowned at with a feeling of loosing their status as shoe-wearing gentleman. Bhaga Das as well as Kangali babu had to intervene a little to wash out this social stigma. Almost all the men folk used to pick up a rough-&-tough pair of shoes that Usually lasted long given its sturdiness and sparing use. Then, kids and women folks also started wearing shoes and Karim's shoes became a house hold possession known for its trust and usability. Unlike now one was not used to spending so much time in choosing a brand pair of shoes hopping from one shop to another. Of course, now shoes are lucky enough to wait in air-conditioned shops before they get initiated to dust biting.

Each shoe made by Karim carried his personal touch. Later, his son Rahim also extended a helping hand in shoe making during his offtime from school study. Bhaga Das, though staying in Calcutta at the time, still bought Karim's shoes. Karim’s shoes were made not only for rural use but also carried a sense of nationalistic feeling. Karim used to have a different repute among all the shopkeepers who used to gather in Melanapada for his associations with Kangali babu and Bhaga Das. Every year during the fifteen days Holi festivities, the three used to enjoy for an annual reunion. They used to sit late in the evening, discussing the changing aspects of life and society. Surprisingly, the three were very common in accepting changes in age old social norms that were forward looking. But some changes brought by the passage of time was becoming difficult for them to accept. The first, the blow of missing Kangali babu shook the rest two all through. Since then, for the two, a kind of dullness set in. They were not ready to accept the avalanche of changes time started unfolding before them.

Karim’s business started showing a down trend. At the same time his domestic expenditure was rising up. Neither, Bhadrak remained a sleepy town nor Maitapur Melana remained the same for Karim. Machine made fancy shoes started pouring in. Villagers, particularly youngsters started feeling restless about living in sleepy villages. A strange attraction to the metropolis set in for living - might be for perpetual monotony and poverty, youngsters found a synonym to rural life. Bhaga Das could feel it due to his acquaintance to both the lives. But, the attraction that was pulling him to the village was so intense and personal that he was not able to explain the same his friends in Calcutta. And even his son Gopal viewed his father’s decision to return as irrational. Bhaga Das came back; many saw his return as a fool’s decision. So also, viewed Karim’s every year sojourn to Melanapada. But, karim knew he was coming for not for business but for inertia due to the pulling of residual force, eagerness to meet Bhaga Das.

Then the time came with a bitter slap for Bhaga Das, when Karim appeared at Melanapada with a bag full of shoes only. He came on a bicycle instead of his caravan of two bullock carts loaded with shoes. His business had taken a slump to a bag ful of shoes. His wife Farida and son Rahim advised him to abandon this annual sojourn for sheer economic reasons. But, for Karim economics was not the only thing that mattered. He felt himself to be a part of Maitapur Melana festival as if it was his responsibility to provide shoes for all there – a self assumed responsibility. For him, his business was not only defined on a balance sheet but associated with social responsibility and love. Rahim had tried hard to convince his babajaan, terming his journey to Melanapada as sheer foolishness. For Karim, the balance sheet is a strange piece paper and wondered how such an innate element could guide him to do or not to. In his life time, he had not come across a moment where there was no human touch in making a decision that has a bearing on lives.
Karim's understanding of his livelihood and related economics are based on simple theory that is reasoned out by himself, devised by his own surroundings, people and his way of life. His theory stands on three principles: earning is only for simple living, self esteem and prudent expenditure; which he learnt during his time at the Balasore jail. Many termed him a miser for not giving a grand party for his son's marriage though he had a great business that time. Instead, he spent money to build a school in Kuansh his pada in Bhadrak.
Now Karim's theory is facing a serious question. It's crumbling down. Rahim wanted to know rationality of this theory when time is casting a serious question on it. Corporate houses and multi-nationals have stepped in and as if it is not enough, Chinese cheap shoes have come in. Who does need Karim's shoes? Silence in his workshop has started threatening him and his theory. Rahim has turned to himself, thinking his father's obstinacy is pulling him down. He needs better life and money for that. Now, Rahim has raised question on the minimalist theory of his father – 'earn for only living and live with minimal requirements.' Though Rahim has seen the ease of this theory with his father; but the same has been a constant itch for him – there is nothing called minimal in current style of living he analyzes and finds an answer on current backwardness of the country and particularly his village. ‘Grandeur in living’ only brings excellence he quips; and that is how excellence is tangible unlike making it mythical as elders say of saints and sadhus. He wants to be a rationalist and that requires that he be out of his father’s spell. Rahim has decided to be firm though he has known difficulty in it as it hurts his father most. But the call of the day is becoming enchanting and intoxicating to ignore. Finally, when the day came, he took a train to Kanpur to work in a tannery there.
As soon as the train left Bhadrak railway station, it picked up speed and Rahim’s memory rushed through his childhood days, the call of the river Salandi that has taken a small bend towards the right, a furlong away from his house. He felt his feet wet and sticky with alluvial muddy soil passing through his toes. The wet feeling crept up and with a jerk he sat up rubbing his eyes. The trees he knew so well were rushing back as if they were tired of convincing him and returning to their places being hurt. After few minutes, obscure Ranital railway station came and went away; but it’s not obscure to him as he used to get down during his trip to Maitapur Melan jatra. He saw the drinking water tap at the railway station and felt like sneezing remembering the water pushing up his nostrils when drinking water from cup-shaped folded hands.But, quickly he hardened himself remembering the hazard of emotion – emotion binds but later makes relation stale. ‘A bondage that drags is costly’, he passed a verdict. Leaving the soil of birth is a social stigma; but that is man made – thought Rahim. He didn’t care about those accusing fingers. He remembered how Ashok babu of his village long back left for USA and never came back, not even when near and dear ones withered away. He, of course, sent money to his younger brother who used to like it that way’ for ritual expenses. Some prophesized, that one day or other, Ashok would hear the call of the soil that would pull him back. But, they were now proved wrong. Even youngsters now have started questioning the rationality of such belief sighting the scantiness of life being at a sleepy town like Bhadrak. How long could they loiter at the bank of the Salanadi wearing printed lungi and gamuchha while Salalandi itself is drying up and squeezing itself to a nala. Rahim philosophized and said, ‘change is the call of time and fools don’t hear it.’ Of course, he didn’t like Ashok babu and wanted to carve a new example whatever it could be. ‘Does it mean, I want a compromise while letting the change takes place,’ he asked to himself. He was torn apart thinking of these things. Night fell, he took out the tiffin box his mother gave him for the journey. His mother knew the turmoil that was ahead of Rahim. She also knew the storm taking shape within Karim – a feeling of defeat. She had a strange feeling of a log floating along the swollen Salandi current. She had never been afraid of the swollen Salandi since her childhood. Though the swollen Salandi was furious to look at, still she used to came every morning and evening in the rainy season to watch her with golden scattered sun rays. She knew that Salandi would get back its calm and serenity one day. She has learnt, ‘every rage is followed by love – that can happen with mothers.’ Now, time has come for her to wait for serenity to take over after this upheaval,’ thought Farida. When the train started rolling, Farida’s right hand had passed through Rahim’s head to his face and stopped holding his hand till both the hands got separated. Rahim felt a kind of sadness and then heard his soul telling him,’you can’t be like Ashok babu.’ All these were rushing through his head while he was lying on his upper berth. At some point of time, he had gone to sleep and woke up with the noise of chaawalas. He was feeling fresh as if he had found out where the sadness was exactly sitting on his heart. And that spirit guided him all through his stay at Kanpur. He felt, at the end his father would be happy seeing him unlike Ashok babu.

Karim learnt shoe making; the automation pat . Now, he could make use of machines to automate the shoe making process. He also learnt the trick of trade i.e make the latest shoe designs from latest Hindi movies as youngsters ape those very ardently. Also, he learnt to copy designs of branded shoes as there were always some people who couldn’t afford the price of branded shoes but still were after those, like the so called blind lovers destined for disasters. Now he felt as if he could make it a success as a shoe entrepreneur.

Infact, that was not the solution he found on that first night of this onward journey. He decided to come back to Bhadrak and to set up a shoe industry. That was almost like an enlightenment that came to him after five years of his stay in Kanpur. It was not due to random descent of hallow light on him but for a good reasoning that came on observing workers migrated from Odisha. They were the first generation migrants of Odisha who mostly came searching for livelihood and some for good life that the television had shown them through mega serials and Hindi movies. It’s hard to believe how entertainment has changed to sensation being offered on the platter of commercial advertisements. Has ‘Creativity been mortgaged to sensationalism or sensationalism has encouraged creativity’ thought Rahim. ‘But the truth is that both are intertwined,’ Rahim had understood. Though all these didn’t make an impression on him for he had learnt the basics of virtuous life from his parents. He also learnt that ‘continuity is life’. And he had taken that as a cue for his new business on trendy shoes.
Of course, he would use machines for better productivity. But, it would reduce count of labourers which his father would not like. But, his decision got a fillip from Salandi – On its upper stream at Hadgarh, The anicut built had reduced full bodied Salandi to a nala whereas neighbouring areas became fertile from irrigation through Salandi canal. So, he would give better footwear though he would not be able to employ as many as his father used to. He reasoned and became convinced of his decision and started the factory on the bank of Asura pokhai .

Asura pokhari is a large water body comprised of one hundred acres of land with four sides surrounded by high and wide banks, which are elevated wide earthen platforms. The location was of course a suitable site for setting up an industry and was just 4 to 5 kilometers away from his home being at the periphery of Bhadrak. ‘Why it is name is Asura?’ , the question came to his mind. The size and serenity of the pond were intriguing. It happened to Rahim too, as with many others in the past. All ended with a hypothesis – may be demons had dug the pond. Some said, Arjun the middle Pandav had dug it by aiming arrows for drinking water during their wanderings in the forest after being cheated by Duryodhana. With all these stories Asura has been interesting since long providing abode to Asura Mangala – the goddess of well-being. An annual festival with native form of entertainments was the highlights of the festival. Rahim had come to watch it several times before. Moreover, the pond is important, being the lifeline for nearby villages for water uses. He had though of it a bit; and thought his use of this huge pond will not bother any other users. His shoe factory had been inaugurated by local minister and parents ofcourse blessed the occasion. Karim thought that all the artisans he had employed in past now would be employed at his son’s factory. That made him very happy indeed.
But, it was not to happen. He was convinced about the compulsion, ' business is meant for profit'. He was told the truth that ‘money is to be made first and then to think of philanthropy.’ The argument was very convincing particularly, at Rahim’s oratory - a businessman's essential trait that he had acquired during his training away from the village. Karim wondered how argumentative his son had become with a sharp tongue of precision and timeliness; he heard many of his friends telling about his son, ‘very smart’. He was trying to understand what this smartness meant. But, at times he felt, the argument was not convincingly smart for him. He was worrying of the operational part of the argument – that it doesn’t specify what could be the means of earning and how long one should earn before thinking of the surroundings and society. He had no listener like Bhaga Das who could not only give a patient hearing but would advise on also. The time passed on, bringing roaring business for Rahim.

Rahim’s shoe had become a craze for locals atleast in Bhadrak and Balsore districts. Due to its style and low cost, rural kids got attracted. They had been infected with the styles worn by senior kids working away in Delhi, Bangalore and Surat. Infact, those kids buy now shoes from Rahim’s stall during their annual visits to their native places. Infact, Ashok babu the resident of USA used to do the same during his visit to Bhadrak as shoes, spices and some essentials were cheaper here in India. In the mean time Rahim had to increase his production several folds by expanding his shoe factory. Huge residuals of shoe factory are now being flushed into Asura pokhari making its pristine water unbearably pungent. Its blue water has turned reddish. Unlike before, now the evening breeze carried a strong stench into Bhadrak town reminding people as if shoes are eating off pair of legs. All sorts of probable pictures of pollution were being published in local pages of newspapers.
Karim and Fatima were now aware of this issue of pollution and felt awfully sorry as their son was involved in it. One day they asked, ’Rahim! What is that we are hearing of your factory? We are not very happy of it. We don’t want money to be earned at the cost of others, that too of nature.’ As if Rahim was prepared in advance, he put a counter question with his usual smartness to his rural bred parents. Rahim asked, ’Babajan, why do not people talk about those stone crushers at Asura? Are they not polluting? Ammajan several times closed windows and doors for not allowing that stone dust to settle on our beds and table tops. Isn’t it true a big haze of stone dust hangs every evening on the horizon of Bhadrak? Then why do people raise finger only at my factory?’ Karim and Fatima kept quiet hearing this argument though they knew very much one wrong did not legitimate another wrong. But the point is they were not used to such argument before and kept quiet for sometime before deciding what they would say. But, Rahim took the advantage of this moment of pause by his parents and said,’Babajaan, you don’t worry about newspapers’ reports. My business has picked up. Probably, that’s the reason for these negative propaganda. I will take care of it. You will not find anymore of such reports.’ It was difficult for Karim to understand the reality of Rahim. But, he kept wondering what would happen if each showed fingers at others. Farida understood Karim’s torment. Both exchanged looks. There was a gloom in front of their eyes. Eyelids were getting tired and drooping down, so also drops of tears were taking shapes at the fear of loosing something that was making them so content with.

Rahim had not forgotten Maitapur melan. His childhood memory kept coming now-and-then and more his parents made him feel low. He felt torn apart between past and present and found both are true and real! Now Maitapur melan has grown big and has shaded off old entertainments adding new forms. More people have accepted the change. That encouraged him to set up stall to showcase his stylish shoes. Karim has got the wind of it and felt happy of it but has restrained himself by an untold drag that the new found truths have brought in. Despite having a desire to meet his friend Bhaga Das, he decided against it. Farida also has not forced Karim to travel. Rahim has camped with big billboard advertising with stylish youths wearing his shoes. Leave aside shoes but the billboard itself has been drawing large number of rural youths’ for its visual strange extravaganza. Bhaga Das has heard of it from his grandson Rahul who has been throwing tantrums since few days to get hold of a pair of Rahim’s shoes. But his parents are opposing it for the unnecessary expense as he has already a pair of shoes. Bhaga Das is aware of Rahul’s unjustified strength that brings sometimes blames for him from his son and daughter-in-law, ‘Baba, your affection has been spoiling him.’ Somehow, Bhaga Das wriggles out at that moment from arguments and accusations fully knowing Rahul en cashes on his weakness. Probably, that is what grandparents are towards grandchildren. Bhaga Das excuses himself every time. This time he has been holding himself tight not to give in to Rahul’s consumerism. But, as the last day draws in for the melan, Rahul has become restless seeing his wish list has still the most wanted item ‘the Rahim’s shoe’ unpicked. Rahul also does not want to give up. He wishes to play the last trick invoking memory of his grandmother and her affection. He woke up in the morning and started sobbing, uttering to himself with pangs, ‘had my granny been there, it would not have been this much pain for me for a pair of shoes.’ As if this statement was endowed with celestial power to pull up Bhaga Das and just pushed him up to Melanapada. Rahim felt himself winning while picking up the choicest pair of shoes for Rahul at the request uncle Bhaga Das. But, his heart sank while accepting cost of the shoes and a shadow of the conflict was spreading over his face!
Hrushikesha Mohanty
Professor, Computer Science, University of Hyderabad

Introducing 'Ama Odisha'

Dear All

It is my privilege to introduce you a group of
youngsters struggling hard in todays upward
lively busy professional life,
still find time for literature and culture.
Being nostalgic of the fragrance of nativity, they
admire, eulogize it on Orkut like social networking. There
meeting on cyber world has resulted in a unique
gift for all of us that's 'Ama Odisha' – a bilingual
e-magazine with a high expectation to propagate
the Culture and Literature of Odissa – the Lord's Land!

I would like to invite all my esteemed guests on my blog
to meet this wonderful creation of our dear youngsters at

I solicit your encouragements, pats and blessings for AmaOdisha
and its creators.

31st July 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

ShantA GodhuliRe

This poem is published in Saptarshi -
the Odia magazine published by Sambalpur
University, Odissa.

Please click on poem image for better view.

Looking forward to your comments.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Aau Jane Yasoda

This Odia story has appeared in Digbalaya, July 2010
written by Anjali.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The scanned copy I got from The Prajatantra was not
in good quality. Some of my esteemed blog visitors
pointed out. Hence, I am posting the original I sent to
Prjatantra. I will be thankful for your comments.


Saturday, June 26, 2010


This Poem is published in The Prajatantra, 13th June 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mati Maa Gatha Mun Gaibi

This poem is all about an old lady who used to assist my mother in house-hold activities. Now she is in her last stage of life. Whenever, I visit my village, meet her to listen from her sweet queries on my kids and my wife. She pleads to bring kids to my village. I feel bad to say her my kids somehow have gone far away from rural settings.That could be there preoccupations with their future. That is different issue. But the point that stuck me is her innocence telling nothing of her problem.

Most of us, in urban area call such ladies as 'kamabali' (the lady who works particularly does morning chores like sweeping, cleaning plates etc.) I wonder who's is not 'kambala' or 'kamabali'. One day, interestingly, one day I heard from a very sensible lady a word 'house assistant'.

Most of such ladies have sorrows to take up these odd jobs at different households. This poem is dedicated to all of them.

Hrushikesha Mohanty

The poem is published in Nabapatra March-April 2010 by Odisha Cultural Academy, Rourkela, Odisha.

Monday, May 24, 2010

On Poems in Sagarika, February 2010

This is my letter to the Editor, Sagarika published
in April-May 2010 Sagarika. The letter presents a
review of the poems published in Sagarika Februray 2010.

The review ponders over untimely departure of a boy Aditya
of a Patnaik family the editor knows well and she puts
that pathos in her editorial.

In my review I have tried to console the Patnaik family
sighting the poems in the issue that address some
dimensions of life.

25th May 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Only for a Wait

Hrushikesha Mohanty
(A English translation of Odia poem 'Kebala ApekshyaRe')
[published in SurjyaPrabha odia daily on 25th April 2010]

Today the Sun is dim and so also my pupils
and I'm threatened in my despair; it swears to stay with
unlike before. Henceforth, I will succumb to
and shrink to shell; stopped boarding running town bus
and got late to office hours.

All the days being washed brought-in dark clouds to my afternoon sky
and I sat down to polish my brash near rear door under water tap to lit-up
and watch to self, wishing a fresh shower for worn out summer day.
But nothing that sort happened; and the cuckoo never returned.

'Will call on your cell later you dear
And you call whenever you feel boiling with reminiscences.'
But seldom it happens and so empty the benches
the balcony, the garden, the kitchen - not needed
but my legs got tied with the strings I spawn
for they are grown to be away of my hands, stretch of my eyes.

Where is garden when the fence has eaten it away
and the roses denied to bloom anymore?
Then why do I need rose now
when victorious or defeated -I don't know.
Were all these myths
and so also my walks on razor blades?

Who knocks at my door now -
to sell me in fillers?
Some unknown may become too kind to sigh
and some knowns may drop in with replicas.
But will that return me back?
Or would I curl to self, if not called
draining out my remains in vain
only to wait for lightning to strike my Sun!

KebAla ApekshyaRe

The poem is published in Literary page of Sunday Surjya Prabha Odia daily on 25th April 2010.
There are so many typo - sorry for bad reading. I have also put a English translation of it for my n visitors who don't read Odia. Hope, they will also find the poem interesting. Thanks again in advance for your time, comments as well as interest.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This is not a Question of that Kind

Hrushikesha Mohanty

(English Version of the Odia poem published in Digbalaya April 2010)

This is not a kind of question
For which you choose to live in a cave filled with solid darks
Where bats fly tearing off the space and time
With stinking smells of droppings
And the present sits in despair!

This is not a kind of question
To be asked by you like a Parikhita
And I will be a Suka Muni to reply and get rid-off.

Why didn’t Sita ask this question being cornered-
Being afraid of whispers or cursing to her fate
Or deciding to forget the footsteps of yesterdays’?

Why do we ask those questions in every evening
To tease each other or to offend each other ?
As if there is a lot of fun in weeping in hidings.

Often we have decided to forget the question
That does not have any answer
Neither in stuffed purse nor in weaponry of tongue.
But the question again appears with the rage of Durbasa
For anger, desire or suspicion?

There are so many other questions to answer
That can be searched and searched
Gazing and pondering at the restless sea.
Why don’t you understand – there need not
Be answers to all the questions to live with - The Present.
Let me confess – it’s not a beautiful translation.

Monday, April 19, 2010

IeTa Semiti Gotie Prashna Nuhen

Please click twice for better view
'IeTa Semiti Gotie Prashna Nuhen' - "This is not a Question of That Kind' is poem published in Odia magazine 'Digbalaya' April 2010 published at Bhubaneshwar.

The poem talks of silly questions we raise with unusual interest may be for apprehensions in our daily day to day life. These questions probably can be overlooked for answer on the prime question
on this life.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Smruti O Sarahada

This poem written by me published in Sagarika March 2010.
And would like to share with my distinguished guests at
my blog. My blog MoKatha i.e my words has become Ama Katha -
that's our words as I have started posted stories written by
my wife Anjali.

Anjali infact is a very good story writer. As very obedient son
when I was asked by my parents, I got interested of Anjali for her
literary background. That time also I used to have deep love to
literature. Sometimes, I think I should have taken up literature
as my career. There is no point to regret now.

Anjali could not keep up her literature being deeply drawn into
family and rearing up our two kids Vakul and Anwesha. Vakul is
studying BITS Pilani in 2nd year and coolly got into his study and
publishing research paper. His first paper will be coming
in Lecture Notes on Computer Science, Springer. He also edits
his department magazine and columnist in college magazine. Our
daughter Anwesha is a lovely girl just wrote her CBSE X final exam.
She is deeply into painting and fine arts. She wants to pursue
her dream.

Suddenly, we two at home have started feeling lonely. Evenings are
no more noisy. Even holidays and festive days are dull. We can
foresee what future is hiding for us - loneliness, internet chatting
with kids - still plenty of time with longings to get them very near.
Not only we two, many parents in current times are or will be passing through

Anjali is very sensitive lady. Since, our son has gone to hostel
she has started brooding over it. Gets more of it when thinks of
forthcoming days. In order to get her attention elsewhere
somehow, I could encourage her to write and she has started writing
stories. Hope, with all your encouragements she will escape herself
from loneliness and she will write good stories.

For the same reason I have also resorted to writing poems,
eulogizing life and accepting it
as it appears before.

This particular poem published in Sagarika,
March 2010 tells of Smruti O Sarahada
reminiscence and boundaries. Remembering
my village and pushing the boundary to chase a moon has brought me
to Hyderabad but the life finds confused remembering the crossed boundary
of sweetness of childhood and lamenting on chasing the golden deer never ending
wishes, system defined index of excellence - that the current presents. Sometimes
person wishes to sleep with the plaques of sweet memories.

Click on image for better view

We deeply thank all of you, our distinguished blog visitors for sharing
your time with us.


Sima Parisima : Published Sagarika March 2010

Dear All

Greetings on Odisa Divas!

Anjali, my wife has written this story.
It's published in Sagarika March 2010.


Sunday, March 21, 2010


This poem ALINGAN (Embrace) is published today 21st March 2010 in The Surjyprabha daily.

The poem Ebmrace categorizes embracing at different stages of life. In each embracing there is an exchange of warmth. It takes some classical embraces of Krushna--Sudama and Rama-Sugriba. Old true friends Krushna the king steps down from throne and embraces poor childhood friend Sudama and offers a bounty. Here Krushna does not have a pride of a giver and Sudama does not feel of belittling. But the Rama-Sugriba embrace has a condition of mutual benefits. They make a embrace to help each other for fighting against their enemies together. There is also a parasitic embrace that knows only receiving and a relation with that becomes costly.

Still, a person needs embracing something i.e. a concept, near-and-dears. Probably a human feels more lonely than all other creatures. And always hankers of continuity though it knows one day everything comes to an end. Possibly, at alingan embrace of grand child, a grand-parent sees continuity and so, the embrace!

Hrushikesha Mohanty
Bangalpur, Simulia, Odisa 756 126
Working at University of Hyderabad

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Morning

Pl. Click on Image for better view

An aspire / a longing for a new morning that will bring new paintings on the wings of butterflies and wipe out blood stains from news-papers.

The poem is published at Dhwani Pratidhwani newspaper Sunday literary edition on 21st February 2010.

Hrushikesha Mohanty

Friday, February 26, 2010

Program Co-Chairs ICDCIT 2010

It's me and Dr.Tomasz Janowski, Centre for Electronic Governance, UNU/IIST Macau.
We were Program Co-Chairs of ICDCIT 2010, 15-17, Feb. 2010 held at KIIT Campus,
Bhubaneshwar. The proceedings of the conference is published by Springer in its
Lecture Notes on Computer Science, Vol. 5966.

I enjoyed working with Dr.Tomasz and his team at UNU/IIST, Macau. I also
enjoyed working with the team at KIIT, Bhubaneshwar (Samaresh,Prasanna, Animesh
Dwivedy babu and others).

Hrushikesha Mohanty
University of Hyderabad